David Jones:

Megan Stoyles writes: Re. “DJs ticks all the boxes in action on McInnes scandal” (yesterday, item 3). Mark McInnes’ behaviour  to and with women has been described  by his supporters as “flirty”.

This is a word which has usually been used to describe women’s behaviour; in men “pants man” or sleazy are the more common, and accurate descriptors. The use of flirty in the McInnes’ case has been used along with the more normal male response of “misreading  her responses/signals”, and both seek to diminish the strength and reality of his action.

What  should be blindingly obvious is that he was a powerful man relating inappropriately to a younger female employee, and from the background stories, she was one of many who had to choose between two options: yielding and getting something out of it (historically this has ranged from marriage, to a Louis Vuitton handbag, or being sacked or discarded); or refusing and facing an uncertain future ( historically ranging from dismissal, legal fights and a loss of privacy, life and future prospects … at best).

Whatever the details, please leave flirting to women, and describe accurately what men like this have done: sexual harassment and improper use of power in the workplace.

Arley Moulton writes: Adam Schwab is in my opinion the best writer in your office. That said his gushing comments of the DJ’s board and McInnes almost made me physically ill. How would he like it if it was his wife who got abused at work and not some 25 year old publicist, would he still be in support of the $1.5M termination payment? Would Mr McInnes still be a semi-decent guy?

It’s not fair, and in fact quite dangerous, to take an arm’s length view to sexual harassment. I learnt that little trick (imagining it’s your sister/mum/or any other close female you’re abusing/getting abused and not a random female at a night club) at football when I was younger.

It was used to make young men think about whether they’d still support it or allow it to happen. It’s  stuck with me to this day. I think it applies in this instance.

Aviation in Africa:

Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler writes: Re. “Crikey Clarifier: the danger of aviation in Africa” (yesterday, item 17). I flew out of Yaounde in Cameroon in 2005 — heading slightly more south-east than the lost mining company aircraft (I was flying to Bayanga in the Central African Republic). I remember thinking “we worry about deforestation but I cannot see anything but trees to the horizon in every direction.” It stayed that way for a long time.

100622_Yaounde-Bayanga flight 02

Young Liberals:

Denise Marcos writes: Re. “Alex Hawke slams party rivals over Young Lib fracas” (yesterday, item 12). Once upon a time it was de rigueur for any self-respecting Young Liberal never to be caught, dead or alive, inside an electorate office.

Young Liberals were then engrossed in a giddy round of champagne brunches, progressive dinners, tennis parties, weekends at country properties and formal balls. Whenever they referred to “the party” it bore no relation to politics — it was next Saturday night’s shindig.

How do I know this? It would be imprudent to answer without my solicitor being present.

Wayzgoose:

Chris Harrison writes: Re. “Read all about it in the Capital Post: newspapers are fine, OK?” (Friday, item2). I found Andrew Crook use of the archaic word “wayzgoose” very strange. First, why did he use it at all?

If you click on the hyperlink, you will find a very detailed and accurate explanation of the word. It doesn’t mean anything in the context of Crook’s article. I suppose its relationship to printing might explain the reason Crook misused it. Other than that I can only think that he learnt of wayzgoose, fancied it and dropped it into an article as soon as he thought it might fit. It doesn’t.

Was the hyperlink inserted to embarrass him? In future, stick to simple, straightforward words as all good journalists do, Andrew, and stop showing off your knowledge of archaic 17th century words.

First Dog on the Moon:

Tom Gutteridge writes: Re. “First Dog on the Moon” (yesterday, item 7). It was a really bad day — in the news, on the roads, on TV — and I was feeling depressed and pessimistic.

I started reading Crikey and it only got worse — cynical political views and more evidence of the inexorable stupidity of humanity — but then I came to First Dog on the Moon.

By the time Kevin Rudd’s cat had demanded that his dog “stop trying to suppress my freedom of speech” and the ABC’s interpretive dance bandicoot had performed “Voting” the gloom had lifted and my heart sang.

I am smiling now. Thank you.

Peter Fray

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